A ridge stretching between Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf and the pastoral landscape of Waiheke Island provided a stunning, and challenging, context in which to design a home.

The approach was to work within the contour of the ridge, as an attempt to minimise the impact on the landscape. A landscape wall, clad in local coloured stone, splays out from the primary plan form, providing a point of entry to the house, and allowing the excavation that drops the garage below the ground line.

Ascending the stair, one reaches the house via a southern courtyard. The plan form of the house is spaced between this courtyard and its accompanying northern courtyard, which are bridged by a gabled roof stretched across the long axis. The courtyards provide the opportunity to shelter from either of the two dominant winds.

The materiality of the house draws on two architectural conditions of Waiheke, the masonry forms were inspired by the gun emplacements of Stoney Batter. The use of cedar and plywood reflect precarious weekenders of the island’s past.